Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was one of 19 players invited to compete for a roster spot on the 2014 World Cup of Basketball team, but Griffin respectfully declined the opportunity on Thursday [via ESPN]:
"I appreciate the invitation to play for Team USA this summer," Griffin said in a statement. "It is a special opportunity anytime you have a chance to represent your country, and I was honored to be included. However, right now I want to focus and dedicate 100 percent of my energy on improving and preparing for the upcoming season with the Clippers."
Good for him and the Clippers, and good for Andre Drummond's chances to make the team.
John Wall took Griffin's spot on the roster of 19, so there's still 18 other players, but Griffin's drop-out means one less big man. Drummond's primary competition now is DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried,
and Kevin Love. Drummond, Davis and Cousins are (and have been) the only listed centers on the roster, but either way one less big-man option has to be at least somewhat positive news for Drummond's chances.
12 players will be selected for the World Cup roster, which could ultimately lead to a spot on the 2016 Olympic team. Tyson Chandler and Dwight Howard remain in consideration for the 2016 Olympic team despite not participating with the team this summer.
UPDATE: Kevin Love dropped out, too.